A Moveable Feast : Sketches of the author's life in Paris in the Twenties by Ernest Hemingway
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964. Book Club Edition. Hardcover. 211 pages ; 21 cm. In original dust jacket with unmarked pages and firm binding.
A Moveable Feast
SKETCHES OF THE AUTHOR'S LIFE IN PARIS IN THE TWENTIES
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
—Ernest Hemingway to a friend, 1950
Ernest Hemingway left the world a generous legacy in these sketches of his early life in Paris in the Twenties. So complete is the spell of his art that the four decades between what was done and felt then and what was remembered and written later seem barely to have intervened. Everything is perceived directly through the eyes and ears of the young writer himself, living in the pre-dawn of world recognition.
The reader walks with him along the Paris streets, watching fishermen along the Seine or dropping by at Sylvia Beach's to borrow a book; returns with him (sometimes frugally skipping a meal) to the Hemingways' small apartment on the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs with the sawmill in the courtyard below; sits by him in a cafe while paragraph by paragraph, scarcely looking up, he constructs one of the stories that created a new voice for the literature of our time.
It was a time of hunger and discipline and also one of fulfillment and happiness. We share taut days at the race-track at Enghien and happy, strenuous weeks ski-ing in the Vorarlberg in Austria. These chapters glow with the joy of recollection.
There are many vivid portraits from memory: Gertrude Stein providing little glasses of liqueurs and impromptu lectures in her apartment on the rue de Fleurus; Ezra Pound learning to box; Ford Madox Ford discoursing on the mysteries of being a gentleman; and a number of others, all profoundly expressive. One of the more important is the portrayal of Scott Fitzgerald, an amusingly truthful one, softened by affection for the man and respect for his genius. The motor-trip he and Hemingway make from Lyon to Paris will surely take its place as one of the great comic journeys of literature.
One can only suggest the experiences awaiting the reader of this book in which a master of literature in full command of every technique of his art relives these bright chapters of his youth.
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